With Mother's Day fast approaching some of my coworkers were chatting about "Bring Your Kid to Work Day". We had several of our crew bring their children to work. I asked them if they had a good time on that day? That sparked a memory, of a time long ago in a place far from here. We were still living in New Jersey shortly after Michelle and I were married. My mother had suffered a heart attack and would need open heart surgery. As the day loomed closer, Michelle ordered me a copy of a small children's book. It was titled "I Love You Forever". She went on to relate to me how she had given this book to her Mom on Mother's Day a few years before. She went on to say I should read this book and give it to my mother before her surgery.
Well I read it and the tears flowed hot and long, I then took it to her and asked her to read it for me. Her surgery went well and she lived several more years. By this time we had moved to our farm in the mountains of West Virginia. I would call my parents each week to share with them the progress for our new homestead. I would ask my mom if she would like to see our new place and pictures just would not do justice. She would politely decline and we would move on to other topics. A few months later my mom was in and out of the hospital. The reports from the doctors were good and they told us she was going to be ok. A few days later, while cutting the grass my cell phone rang. It was my older sister Barbara with tears in her voice she said " We lost momma!" We dropped everything and drove home. After the funeral my sisters told me a story.
A few days before my birthday my mom asked them to take her down to West Virginia to see Michelle and I. It was a surprise birthday present for me. The next day she was rushed to the hospital. Again we were told she would be ok in a few days and would soon be released. She never made that trip. But she gave me a gift I will always cherish. Her own dad had died a few days before Christmas when she was a young girl. She told me there was no Christmas that year for her family. She died a week after my birthday through sheer force of will. She would not forever taint this joyous day with sorrow. It was her last gift to me!
So when I think of her I pull out my copy of that book and cry over each page remembering the wonderful mother I was so richly blessed to have.
Link to the Author's Website where you can hear him reading the story and read the backstory for the book.